An alternate universe of Pseudo-Academia has appeared and it is rapidly growing.
Many researchers and authors, including myself, are excited about the possibilities of open access publishing. Open access models have the potential to increase accessibility to new research, to facilitate the dissemination of new ideas, to expand audiences for publications, and to enhance scholarly exchanges.
Serious readers who have used Wikipedia and other open access online resources are familiar with some of the problems of open access publishing: unreliability, inaccuracy, and instability. New dangers of open access publishing are now appearing in the academic world, leading Stanford professor Steven Goodman to refer to “the dark side of open access.”
Predatory pseudo-academic conferences and journals are increasingly preying on graduate students and professors who aim to present and publish their findings using new media. A number of scholars have “stumbled into a parallel world of pseudo-academia, complete with prestigiously titled conferences and journals that sponsor them. Many of the journals and meetings have names that are nearly identical to those of established, well-known publications and events,” according to an article in the New York Times.
Librarian Jeffrey Beall maintains a blacklist of “predatory open-access journals.” According to the New York Times, “There were 20 publishers on his list in 2010, and now there are more than 300. He estimates that there are as many as 4,000 predatory journals today, at least 25 percent of the total number of open-access journals.”
The New York Times reports on pseudo-academic journals in the sciences, but there are also pseudo-academic publishers and conference organizers in the humanities and social sciences.